Is Reiki Magic?

Photo by Christopher J. Hopper
Photo by Christopher J. Hopper

Recently, this question has come up in a variety of settings: Is Reiki magic? When I first heard the question I was startled. To me, Reiki seems so natural, innate, and pure. Calling it “magic” seemed to have a negative connotation for me. When I use the Reiki symbols, in an attunement or for a session, am I calling on something otherworldly? At Mass this past weekend, Father John said in his homily, “Baptism is not magic.” To call upon the Holy Spirit is not magic. To welcome a baby, or adult, to our community of believers is not magic. It is life and it is love. I am not equating Reiki and Baptism, because they are certainly different. However, I am noticing how when we are faced with something we cannot see, like universal life force energy or Spirit, we question it. Sometimes we may even fear it. I can’t touch it, but that doesn’t make it magic.

There is an energy inside us and all around us that can’t be seen or touched. However, it is felt. It is Reiki. It is universal life force energy. My teacher, Libby Barnett, says that prior to attunement in a Reiki Class we sometimes tap into universal life force energy but that we do so in an inconsistent way. After attunement we are able to consistently pick up that radio station. Hands on, Reiki’s on. So simple and so instinctive.

Sometimes though Reiki’s simplicity seems to be one of its shortcomings. Our minds want to know how it works. Our minds seek evidence — proof that we’ve been healed and changed. However, Reiki is an offering. As a Reiki practitioner you are a conduit. You offer and allow the healing to happen as it will — outside of your control, outside of your will, outside of your mind and ego.

Perhaps it is exactly this “unknown” aspect of Reiki that makes it seem so magical and mysterious. As we release our need to know, as we open to the unknown and a place of innate knowledge, we experience Reiki and all its goodness. This opening can be scary and certainly are minds protest not being at the forefront of our experience. However, as we allow Reiki into our lives we allow healing and experience fully the universe’s love and light.

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Reiki Resolution Technique

The past five days have been filled with anxiety, anger and pain.  Sometimes for me this has been almost disorientating and disabling.  I almost don’t know what to do next as I feel held by these strong emotions.

However, I have reminded myself of the wise and helpful technique presented by my teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb.  They call this technique the Reiki Resolution Technique.

The technique works as follows:  If you are a Reiki practitioner, level 2, then first do the mental/emotional symbol plus the empowerment symbol.  Place your hands on your heart and hold the emotion in your hands and heart.  Don’t shy away from it.  Don’t dismiss it.  Hold the anxiety, for example, in your hands and notice what happens.  (Hold it for about 5-10 minutes, with your eyes closed, your body relaxed and your breathing deep and steady.)  As I have done this the past few days, I’ve observed a melting away of the emotion as it replaced by a wave of peace.

If you’re not a Reiki practitioner, you can try this technique as well.  It is helpful to not turn away from our emotions but apply loving and heartfelt attention toward them.  The practice of self-compassion is very important.  The more compassion we create in ourselves, the more we generate this out into the world.

Try this technique and let me know how it works for you.

I will take a blogging break until after the new year.  I wish for each of you a Blessed Solstice, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year filled with love, light and peace.

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The mind does not control Reiki

My Reiki teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb, taught me in the most traditional way as they are very close to the lineage that brought Reiki to the United States.  In our training we always emphasize that the mind does not control Reiki.

Often new Reiki practitioners will be concerned that their mental state, of anger, sadness, or anxiety, could negatively impact a Reiki session.  However, Reiki is a one-way street.  We OFFER Reiki.  It is up to the recipient and his/her body and spirit to take in and use Reiki as needed and desired.  Reiki cannot overwhelm the recipient and it cannot be controlled by the mind.  Though, intention setting can be a very powerful ally.

While a Reiki practitioner is offering Reiki, her/his mind needs to be engaged.  Setting an intention that becomes a sort of mantra for the practitioner can be very beneficial for her/his experience of the session.  This should not be confused however, with being in control of the Reiki or of the recipient’s energy.  We offer.  We do Reiki and notice.  We do not diagnose.  We do not manipulate.  We offer Reiki for the highest healing good.

Is setting an intention helpful?  Yes, it is helpful for our monkey minds that so desperately need something to DO.  It can also provide focus for the recipient’s mind.  However, again, the recipients mind will not control the Reiki.  The Reiki will go where it is needed most.

This approach to Reiki recognizes the power of the universe.  It is an approach that acknowledges the Reiki practitioner’s role as a conduit.  The Reiki channels through me to the recipient.

Many have difficulty accepting this and feel that they should be “doing” more during a Reiki session.  However, this is unnecessary.  The power of the universe, of universal life force energy, is being presented through your attuned hands.  Have faith and confidence that, as with your intention, it is presented for the highest healing good and will yield exactly that.

Be well my friends and trust in the universe.  Align yourself with the light.

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